This is a WOW post.
Tring- Tring, the phone rang…! I waited to hear the sound of someone picking it up. But I simply could not. Standing outside, waiting to knock on the door, I could hear someone shuffle in the room but why was no one picking up the phone, I wondered. As soon as I snapped out of my daydream, I knocked on the door, slightly at first and after a brief moment a bit louder. I waited.
I was supposed to meet him here today. I looked at my watch. I was surely on time. It was his suggestion that we meet to listen to the call that would change our life. It had been 3 years since we had started writing that book and along the way gave me countless opportunities to learn and grow. When we began the book, it was just an idea but now it had become the lifeline of our existence. Books can be very engaging, but for us, as the days progressed, this book became more of an obsession. When we were busy with the drafts and briefs, along with thousands of re-writes over numerous cups of coffee, we did not imagine that one day it would become a matter of life and death for us.
I knocked again. No response. I wiggled the doorknob and the door instantly swung open. The phone rang again –tring tring and my heart skipped inside my chest. Why was I scared? Should I take the call or wait for him, I thought while the ringer kept screaming. Where is he… my mind constantly clamoring. I reckoned it would be best to pick it up. As soon as I leapt towards it, it got threatened and died. I looked around in anticipation of him showing up from behind, but alas.
He must surely be sunbathing by the pool. I know how much he loved doing that when he wanted to relax. Today was surely not his day. His nerves must be playing havoc. I smiled at the thought and opened the back door that led me to the pool. I called out his name. Once. Twice. No response. Why did the pool look so eerie at this hour like someone was here a while ago and left their shadow? Did I just notice a leftover drink by the hood? Oh, that’s his phone too by the tumbler. Am I just imagining things? I scanned the space once and returned to the living room. I called his name one more time. Would he be upstairs?
I started scaling the steps slowly and then my feet took pace. More than my voice, it was my mind that was screaming out his name, by now. In contrast to the voice in my head, I called out meekly. No one seems to be around then why do I feel a presence – like someone is haunting me? I turn around swiftly, just to be sure. Just then, I notice a picture hanging on the wall-ours. Our trip to Spain; where the story of our book took place. We had spent over a year there and that was our best vacation ever. Also, because he does not like vacations and the time we spent there was more work for him than leisure. I closely looked at the picture. I seem to have considerably aged since then. He was not up here as well and then I turned back and started mounting the steps down, slowly. Did I just spot blood on the railing? Why is one of the spikes broken? What had happened here? I looked around in horror and ran down towards the exit. Just as I opened the door, he was standing right there, fiddling with his keys.
‘You’re here!’ he exclaimed.
‘Yes, you called me at this time and I left work to join you here’ I was so flustered by now. ‘Where were you?’ I demanded.
‘I had just left to…’ He began and I cut him short.
‘When I came here, the door was open, the phone was ringing- surely the publisher must be calling. I went by the pool and saw a leftover glass of scotch. I thought I heard a noise upstairs and went up to see you there. On my way back I noticed a bit of blood on the railing. What was this all about?’ I had to get that out of my system. I was so furious at him; at the same time I was thankful that he was safe.
‘Relax! Take a breath! I was lounging at the poolside, drinking scotch when I got a call from the publisher. I rushed up to take a bath because he called me to his office right away. Took a bath quickly-did I leave the shower on? Anyway, I rushed down but slipped on one of the step. To get a grip I held on to the spike and it came off and cut my finger. I ignored that since it was such a golden opportunity to be able to meet with the publisher. I left in a jiffy to meet him, who, by the way, had called me himself. Isn’t it great honey? We’re going to get published soon-see!’ He flashed an envelope in front of my face.
‘And why didn’t you bother to call me?’